The normative foundation for UN rule of law assistance at the national level is the UN Charter and other relevant sources of international law including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and international refugee law.

Declarations and resolutions of the main organs of the UN, as well as other applicable Organization documents, guidelines, and bodies of principles may further define and guide UN rule of law assistance.  UN assistance may be further guided by relevant regional instruments and practices that conform to UN and international norms and standards and on lessons identified and expert reviews and evaluations of concluded assistance programmes. In addition, rule of law assistance must be consistent with the international legal obligations applicable to the country and consider relevant reviews and country reports.

A whole-of-system UN approach to rule of law assistance, which seeks to overcome fragmentation and facilitate the use of existing rule of law capacities across the system, is a key ingredient in a well-coordinated institutional rule of law response. All UN entities involved in rule of law assistance should operate according to shared approaches and strategies, achieved through effective coordination, and recognize that the success of UN engagement is linked to the extent of its partnerships and support for national ownership.

The Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP) is a coordination platform created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to enhance the predictability, coherence, accountability and effectiveness of the UN delivery in the rule of law. At Headquarters, the GFP is co-chaired by the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and it includes as partners UNODC, UNHCR, OHCHR, EOSG, and UN Women. At the field level, the senior UN official in-country is responsible for the implementation of GFP arrangements.

At the Senior Executive level, the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group (RoLCRG) is chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General, has the overall leadership role for the rule of law. The ROLCRG was established to advance United Nations’ efforts on the rule of law in a coordinated and collaborative manner. ROLCRG brings together entities across the United Nations on a range of key issues that have an impact on peace and security, human rights and development.